On the evening of May 19th, 2016, my heart exploded.
I discovered an article about a new race hitting North America, very North America, called the Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon.
The images were stunning. I felt breathless simply staring at them. The thought of this race was literally pulling my heart strings. I was awash with intrigue, fear, excitement, and 4-year-old glee, yet certain that I had to be there.
The race is similar to ironman distance triathlons, except for a few deviations I will explain later. The most unique part of the race is that it is unsupported, meaning no aid stations, etc., Therefore, every athlete would need to assemble their own team to provide nutrition, bike support, and a pacer for the final difficult miles running up a mountain to the finish line. Even though I appreciated the primal call of the race, I have always steered away from races that require rallying my own support because I don’t like to inconvenience anyone. Naturally, I like it when friends and family cheer me on, but on their own terms, not mine. I believe endurance racing is a very personal pursuit, if people are there, great, but it is never a necessity.
This race felt different.
I wanted to share the experience with people in my life who I knew would appreciate it, and I finally possessed the courage to ask for help. Thankfully, the following fabulous few accepted the call.
Team Captain: Marion Spates
Marion is my husband, business partner, best friend, and greatest cheerleader.
He is also a filmmaker and aims to shoot footage of our adventure.
Team Coordinator/Psychologist: Sarah Fox
Sarah is my younger sister, running protégé, dance partner, and confidante.
Sarah led our Ultra Wasatch Back Ragnar team in 2014 to peanut-butter infused greatness, and will be by my side charging up the mountain.
Bike Tech/Native Coloradan: Eric Hill
Eric is an expert mountain biker, a coffee connoisseur, and Sarah’s boyfriend. I am fortunate to have my bike under his watchful eye.
Plus, he’s from Colorado, my favorite place next to La La Land.
Chief Athlete Motivator: Peter Kelly
Peter is my older brother, high school cross country team captain, award winning animator, and inspirational force behind all of this.
Peter inspired me to become a triathlete; I hope this experience will bring him out of retirement.
There you have it! I have an amazing team, and I can't wait for us to start prepping for our Summertime adventure!
To be continued….